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the Tranquility SE is a thing of beauty for music, if not detail lovers. I have had a dozen DACs through my system and my choice for musical enjoyment is the SE. It is my wife’s choice, too. For me, after listening to all of the “super” DACs I choose the Tranquility for my system.
Jonathon, perhaps the Tranquility DAC can be modded to accept XLR(?).
Which DAC’s have you listened to?
Don't forget his mods for the Mac Mini. I had him mod mine and what a huge difference it made to the imaging and soundstage with more air around the instruments and vocals.
The Tranquility DAC falls into the category of equipment that values music over ultimate sizzle. One increasingly popular path toward the ultra high end values musicality over the artificial detail that many mainstream high end designers have sought. This sound was big in the 80’s and 90’s, with German manufacturers being the worst. It is an extension of the “East Coast vs. West Coast” sound of the 1970’s. If you want the West Coast Sound, choose speakers with hyper detail, amplification with flat frequency response, and HiREZ DAC’s. If you prefer the East Coast Sound, you may choose single driver speakers, Altec Horns, Volti, Audio Note, Devore, or other speakers voiced to be a little laid back. You may like “forgiving” tube amps, likely single ended. Your Dac may be NOS like the Tranquility, or another laid back option like Chord.This also highlights the importance of system matching. One of my amps is a little dark sounding, and even my most neutral sounding amps (ironically tube amps) are ultimately somewhat forgiving. I can only be satisfied with this amp while using my “sharpest” DAC. I otherwise sounds too rolled off. My other amps are all compatible with all my DAC’s.One thing that listening to some modestly priced but still fairly high quality equipment from manufacturers like Omega, DB Audio Labs, Dennis Had, Oliver Sayes, and Chord is that I needed to recalibrate my expectations of extension and detail. I think may of us are very impressed with the “detail” a resolving system presents. But that detail seems to arrive on the leading edge of transients, almost like a sharpening filter in Photoshop. In contrast, with DAC’s like the Chord Mojo, Schiit Bimby, or Tranquility the leading edge seems a little softer, the presentation ever so slightly rolled off by comparison, but there is an increase in detail from within the music itself. Rather than applying a sharpening filter, both the focus and depth of field have been increased.
PS Audio Direct Stream, Mytek, Wyred, Buffalo, Schiit (several), Border Patrol, Cambridge... etc. The Border Patrol and dB Audio Labs are our favorites
A new Tranquility SE might be attractive compared to used plus modifications if the new has the mods already included. You'd gain a warrantee plus feed Eric and avoid aging capacitors/buying used worries. Wonder if he could do the same with a Mac Mini. If such a great pairing why not Eric?Regarding the volume control, check to see if impedances with your chosen amp are a good match. Beyond that being old and lazy I'd need a remote volume control.
A used one for $700, great price. With upgraded caps about a year ago. Jupiter's?http://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649438117-db-tranquility-signature-edition-nos-usbdac-possible-trade/
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